3. More birth leave days
Until the end of last year, birth leave, also known as paternity leave, was 10 working days. As from 1 January 2021, workers covered by the legislation will be entitled to 15 days. As from 1 January 2023, paternity leave will be increased to 20 working days.
As from 1 January 2021, employees who are new fathers are entitled to 15 days of birth leave.
4. Paternity and birth leave allowance for the self-employed extended
Just as with the extension of birth leave for employees, the financial allowance for the self-employed in the context of a birth is also being extended. The period covered of up to 10 working days was increased to 15 days (or 30 half days) as from 1 January 2021. As from 1 January 2023, this will be 20 working days (or 40 half days).
5. Higher bridging right benefit possible
By Royal Decree, the federal government can increase the benefit granted within the context of the bridging right for the self-employed who had to close their doors as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. This includes the self-employed who depend mainly on sectors subject to mandatory closure.
6. Higher guaranteed retirement pension
In order to guarantee pensioners a higher minimum income, the Programme Law provides for 4 increases that will take effect on 1 January 2021, 2022, 2023 and 2024, respectively. The minimum income will gradually increase by 2.58% in 2021 up to 10.75% in 2024.
7. Exceptional measures (supplementary) pensions and social security
With the law of 7 May 2020, the government took a number of exceptional support measures to combat the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. In view of the current health situation, the Programme Law extended or adjusted a number of measures relating to pensions, supplementary pensions, and other supplementary social security benefits. One example: employers are granted a postponement of the payment of contributions for the accrual of a supplementary pension and collective cover in the event of death, healthcare work incapacity or disability.